We are arriving in London on May 6, and have already purchased 7 day travel cards. Can these be used on the National Express Bus? Are there any other buses that transport from Heathrow? We were planning on taking the tube in, but I thought I would check out other options as I saw there is a scheduled tube shut down on May 5, and want to be prepared. Thank you for your help. These forums have really helped our planning our 16 day trip!
National Express is a different company from TFL (Transport for London). You can take a train in from Heathrow to Paddington Station. http://www.heathrowairport.com/transport-and-directions/trains
Apart from through the night there is no straightforward regular bus route from Heathrow to central London. If you force the journey planner to use buses only it can come up with any number of impractical and theoretical routes requiring 3 changes and up to 2.5 hours.
One possible option is a bus from Heathrow to Feltham railway station; train to Clapham Junction and then a train to Victoria. Convoluted but maybe preferable to multiple buses, and covered by the travel card.
Not all services are suspended during these strikes as not all unions are involved but it depends who turns up on a particular shift.
If your travel cards are good for all zones, this is how you get to Victoria without a tube:
Take the 140 bus from the heathrow bus station serving terminal 1-3. If you're coming into terminal 5, then you want the 350 bus. Both the 140 and 350 will take you to the Hayes & Harlington train station, where you can catch the train that takes you to Paddington. From Paddington, either the 36 or the 436 bus will take you to Victoria.
Do be aware though, that if the tube strike goes ahead, the busses will be incredibly busy and ridiculously full. When we had the strikes in Feb, it was not an uncommon sight to see crowds of people waiting patiently at a bus stop for a chance to just be allowed on. It may be well worth it to go ahead and reserve a car service so you don't have to stress it.
Yes bus crush was behind my thinking to only use the bus out of central London - although such routes as the 285 will also no doubt be busy too.
Thanks to all of you for your help. Our travel cards are good for zones 1-6, so the bus might be an option. Hopefully, we will be able to hop on the tube to Piccadilly and transfer there, but I always like to have a backup when I am traveling with luggage. Thanks again.
"Our travel cards are good for zones 1-6, so the bus might be an option"
Info for others - bus travel in all zones is covered by any type of travel card regardless of the zones actually purchased